ClassroomsUnlocked: A software prototype for searching classroom availability in the Information Sciences and Technology Building

Open Access
Dodge, Benjamin Tyler
Area of Honors:
Information Sciences and Technology
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Guoray Cai, Thesis Supervisor
  • Xiaolong Zhang, Honors Advisor
  • ClassroomsUnlocked
  • software
  • prototype
  • classroom availability
  • IST Building
  • Penn State
  • spatiotemporal
Undergraduate students in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) at the Pennsylvania State (Penn State) University are interested in searching classroom availability in the IST Building but have difficulty effectively completing this task. This paper proposes the design of a software prototype called ClassroomsUnlocked that uses the geo-centric integration and presentation of classroom availability information in the IST Building in order to support more effective information seeking and sense making in a range of common student activities. This software prototype was inspired by the ideas of Donald A. Norman and Jakob Nielsen, guided by personas, scenarios, and user stories, and built from a modern mix of Java, Perl, PHP, SQLite, HTML5, and JavaScript. According to a preliminary Keystroke-level Model (KLM) analysis, the prototype may be as much as 85% more efficient than the existing paper-based system. The results of this analysis have demonstrated the merits of this novel approach to searching classroom availability in the IST Building. This approach has the potential to work well in both university and non-university settings with certain limitations.